McDaniels spurns Colts, opts to stay with Patriots

New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels watches from the sideline during the first half of the AFC championship NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Josh McDaniels has backed out of a deal to become the Indianapolis’ Colts new coach, a decision that shocked the franchise hours after it announced his

hiring.

The Colts confirmed McDaniels’ decision in a statement Tuesday night after reports emerged that the Patriots’ offensive coordinator had opted to stay in New England with coach Bill Belichick.

McDaniels had agreed to contract terms with the Colts to replace the fired Chuck Pagano. A news conference had been scheduled for Wednesday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Colts said McDaniels informed them Tuesday evening that he would not sign the deal.

“Although we are surprised and disappointed, we will resume our head coaching search immediately and find the right fit to lead our team and organization on and off the field,” the Colts said in the statement.

The Patriots and McDaniels’ agent, Bob LaMont, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

By spurning the Colts after they waited 22 days to hire him, McDaniels leaves the reeling franchise as the only one without a coach. New England defensive coordinator Matt Patricia left Belichick’s staff a day after the Patriots’ Super Bowl loss to become coach of the Detroit Lions.

The move by McDaniels was reminiscent of his mentor, Belichick, who resigned as coach of the Jets with a handwritten note less than a day after he was hired in 2000.

Although McDaniels never signed his contract with Indianapolis, his stint was even shorter. The team announced his hiring in on its Twitter account late Tuesday morning. Hours later, the Colts had deleted the tweet and replaced it with the statement about his withdrawal.

Pagano was fired Dec. 31 after the team finished 4-12 in a season without injured quarterback Andrew Luck.

McDaniels has long been considered one of the best offensive minds in football and a top-tier head coaching candidate, although his previous head coaching stint with Denver ended badly. He went 8-8 with the Broncos in 2009 and 3-9 in 2010 before he was fired with three games left in the season.

Within days of Pagano’s ouster, Colts general manager Chris Ballard interviewed McDaniels during the Patriots’ postseason bye week. Two weeks later, reports indicated the deal was all but finished and potential suitors, like the New York Giants, started hiring other coaches.

Butler denies misconduct

Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler says he didn’t miss a curfew or do anything off the field that would have hurt New England’s chances of winning the Super Bowl before he was benched for the game.

In a statement released Tuesday on Twitter and Instagram, Butler says reports of misconduct off the field are “ridiculous.”

He says he visited with family every night while in Minneapolis. He adds, “I never attended any concert, missed curfew, or participated in any of the ridiculous activities being reported. They are not only false, but hurtful to me and my family.”

Before the Super Bowl, Butler was on the field for 98 percent of the Patriots’ defensive snaps and started 17 of their 18 games. But he made it on the field for only one special teams play on Sunday as the Philadelphia Eagles racked up 538 yards of offense, including 374 yards passing, and won 41-33. Patriots coach Bill Belichick has not explained why Butler was benched.

After the game, Butler told ESPN that he “could have changed the game.” He also used a profanity and said the Patriots “gave up” on him.

In his statement, Butler apologized for the language he used “during a very emotional time.” His statement was “liked” on Instagram by teammates Tom Brady and Martellus Bennett.

Butler is an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

Gronkowski home burglarized

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski can be heard on a 911 call calmly telling a dispatcher that his home was burglarized while he was at the Super Bowl.

Police in Foxborough, Massachusetts, released a portion of the call on Tuesday.

He can be heard telling the dispatcher on Monday: “This is Rob Gronkowski calling, and while I was gone my whole house got robbed, while on the Super Bowl trip. And I just got back.”

A police report says someone broke a window to get in. In a Broadcastify.com recording of a call between responding officers and dispatch, a dispatcher says “multiple safes and possible guns” were taken.

The police report redacted all details of what was taken.

The report says Gronkowski lives with two roommates, both of whom reported items stolen.

Colts welcome McDaniels

The Indianapolis Colts waited 22 days to make Josh McDaniels their coach. On Tuesday, they got it done.

The team announced the hiring of New England’s longtime offensive coordinator on its Twitter account. Word leaked last month that the sides were close to a deal.

“We are excited to welcome Josh McDaniels, who has agreed to terms as our new head coach!” the post read. “Press conference scheduled for Wednesday.”

He succeeds Chuck Pagano, who was fired Dec. 31, and inherits a team that finished 4-12 in a season without injured quarterback Andrew Luck. Contract terms were not immediately available.

In McDaniels, the Colts get a five-time Super Bowl champ who has been considered one of the best young offensive minds in football and a top-tier head coaching candidate the past several years. He had been a head coach in Denver.

The hiring comes a day after the Detroit Lions landed Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia as their coach, meaning the AFC champions must find two new coordinators.